BERNINI, Gian Lorenzo
(b. 1598, Napoli, d. 1680, Roma)
Fontana del Tritone1642-43
Travertine, over life-size
Piazza Barberini, Rome
The fountain was commissioned by Pope Urban VIII. It is Bernini's first work of this genre but it already shows the characteristics of his later fountains.
Gian Lorenzo Bernini brought the fountain sculpture from the villa to the city, from the natural to the social setting. With him, the sculpture is conceived in relation to the water, to its ceaseless flow, to its shape and course, and thus it becomes one of the "symbolic forms" of the Baroque.
For the Fontana del Tritone Bernini created a fountain in which the architectural elements were greatly reduced in importance. The fountain is dominated by the figure of a triton in a shell borne by four dolphins.